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The most important vocabulary to know during your trip in Jordan

Unless you already have foundations in Arabic or are particularly skilled in learning foreign languages, you will have to work a bit before your trip to Jordan. To save the day, you can also resort to English.

Arabic, the official language

To communicate with the population during your trip to Jordan, you must have knowledge of Arabic, which is the country's official language. If you have no foundation in Arabic before you leave, you will find it difficult to remember more than a few simple pleasantries. To hold a long, in-depth conversation, it might be a lot more complicated. Already knowing how to say "hello, goodbye and thank you", will already make the people you are speaking to delighted with your effort. Don't worry about faults and other pronunciation errors, the Jordanians like to see a foreigner say a few words to them in Arabic and relationships can only be more warming as result.

Encounter in Jordan

Advice on pronunciation

As well as knowing the vocabulary, you will need to have an understanding of the pronunciation. Which of the two is the hardest? It's hard to say, both are complicated. So to speak Arabic as well as the Jordanians, you are going to have to respect certain rules.

Firstly, in Arabic you particularly need to insist on letters that are doubled. If a word has an apostrophe " ' ", you must come to a stop, like a contraction of the glottis. The following pronunciation rules are also essential for you to be aware of. The "e" is pronounced as "é" as in French. The "gh" is pronounced as a "r" as in French. The "h" is the same as "h" in English. The "kh" is the same as "la jota" in Spanish The "q" is a sort of mix between the "k" and the "g" and should come from the back of the throat. The "sh" is pronounced like the "ch" and the "th" as in English, such as the word "this". The "u" is pronounced like "ou", the "w" like "whisky" and not like "wagon". Finally the "y" should be pronounced as it is in "yoyo"

Speaking in English

After having greeted someone in Arabic and you wish to carry on with the conversation, you have English to help you. Not everyone in the country speaks it but you will always easily be able to find someone who can help you. All Jordanians working directly or indirectly with tourists can speak English. If you also struggle with English, consider taking a dictionary with you.

Basic expressions / Common Words

UsaArabe
Good morning / Good eveningSalam wa aleïkoum / Leïla saîda
How are you?Kifak ?
Fine, thank you, and you?Bikher hamdulillah
I understand / I don't understandAf'ham / La af'ham
SorryAna asif
GoodbyeMa'asalama
WelcomeMarhaba
Thank you (very much)Choukran
Excuse meAfwan / min fadlak
My name is...Ismi
No thank youLa choukran
Yes / NoNa'am / La
You're welcomeAfuan

Commerce

UsaArabe
How much is it?Addesh ?
It is very cheapRkhees
It is too expensive!Hada ghalee kheteer
Can you lower the price?Mumkin arkhas ?
I would like to buy ... this one!Biddee eshtiree
I like it / I don't like itAna bHeb / Ana ma bHeb
MoneyMassari
I'm just looking around.Mumkin shoof

Transportation

UsaArabe
I would like to go to ...Ana badeh ruh ala...
PlaneAl-teeyara
BoatAl-markib
TrainAl-qitaar
TaxiTaxi
BusBas
I would like to rent ...Biddee esta'jer...
MotorbikeMotosikl
CarJigara
BikeBisklet

Directions

UsaArabe
Where is ...? / How can I get to ...?Wayn ?
BankBank
Train stationMaHattat al-qitaar
CentreMarkaz al-medeena
HotelAl-otel
HospitalAl-mustash-fa
Is it close / far?Qareeb / ba'eed ?
Straight aheadDughri
Left / RightYasaar / Yameen
North / South / East / WestShimaal / Janub / Sharq / Gharb

Numberssieben, acht, neun, zehn

UsaArabe
one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, tenWâhed, etnên, talâta, arba'a, khamsa, setta, saba'a, tamanya, tes'a, ashra
twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixtyAshrîn, tallateen, arba'een, khamsîn, sitteen
seventy, eighty, ninetySaba'een, tamaneen, tis'een
One hundredMeyya

Hours/Dates and daysDienstag, Mittwoch, Donnerstag, Freitag, Samstag, Sonntag

UsaArabe
What time is it?Addaysh essa'aa ?
When?Emta ?
YesterdayImbaarih
Today (morning/midday/evening)Al-youm (soubeh / ba'ad deher / massa)
TomorrowBukra
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, SundayAl-tenayn, at-talaata, al-arba'a, al-khamees, al-jum'a, as-sabt, al-aHad
I am here on vacationAna fi rotla / Ana mossafir
I am here for businessAna houna lil ramal

Time to eat!

UsaArabe
I am hungry / I am thirstyAna jirane / Ana ratchane
EnjoyChahiya taïba
Cheers!Bi saha !
What can you recommend?Bi mada towassini ?
I am vegeterianAna nabati
Not spicy please (I don't like spices)Bidoune tawabil !
It's too hotInaho sakhine jidane !
I am allergicAndee hasasiyya
Sea foodEl makoulates el bahriya
PeanutsEl foul essoudani
GlutenEl gholtine
I would like...Biddee...
WaterMaï
Tee / CoffeeChaï / kawa
Beer / WineBiyra / khamr
The bill, pleaseEl hssab , men fadl-ak

Health / Emergency / Security

UsaArabe
I need to see a doctor.Ralaya an nochawer tabib
Call an ambulance / Call 911Ittusil bil duktoor /
Where is the hospital?Wayn al-mustash-fa ?
I do not feel very goodAna maareed
It hurts hereBeeyujani hon
Where can I find the restrooms?Wayn twalet ?
Help!Saa'idoonee !
PoliceAsh-shurta
DangerHiyal
I'm lostLakad fakadto tariki

Other

UsaArabe
Have a nice day !Naharek mabrok !
David Debrincat
459 contributions
Updated 26 October 2018

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